Bubbles and balloons in Golden Gate Park, from brokenchopstick’s photostream.
The U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library includes 301 historic photos of the great April 18, 1906, San Francisco earthquake and its immediate aftermath. Shown is a view of the fiery city from Golden Gate Park.
Edward Champion blasts Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius as “a hack who defames journalism” and “a heartless and complacent yuppie writing very much in the thoughtless and vacant manner I used to find in that reactionary cad of a columnist, Ken Garcia.”
The city is getting worked up over one of its periodic and so far futile efforts to clean up Golden Gate Park, and Champion complains that Nevius is “entirely uninterested in coming to terms with the homeless in Golden Gate Park for his piece.”
There’s no question San Francisco’s homeless problem needs more serious attention than it has been getting. Will Champion’s heated rhetoric help? Wasn’t this supposed to be mayor Newsom’s signature issue?
UPDATE: Randy Shaw, in Beyond Chron, weighs in, 9/4/07:
While the traditional media’s role in promoting the Iraq War has become conventional wisdom, military invasions are not the only place where the press sells the public a false story. Consider homelessness. For two decades, the media has offered the public a “framing” of homelessness that focuses on problem individual behavior, rather than on the massive federal funding cuts that saw widespread visible homelessness remerge in 1982 after being nonexistent for over forty years. The San Francisco Chronicle still identifies the homeless problem as primarily caused by problem individuals such as campers in Golden Gate Park, and blames advocates, rather than the media and politicians, for the persistence of homelessness. C.W. Nevius’s August 28 Chronicle column perfectly captured how the media still “enables” the federal government’s abandonment of the unhoused, and shows why the Bush Administration – like its Reagan, Bush and Clinton predecessors – feels no pressure to act.
Yesterday’s mystery image was a detail from a stainless steel “scholar’s rock” by the contemporary Chinese artist Zhan Wang. The example shown is displayed on the patio near the cafe at the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park; the green colors were reflections of the trees and plants outside the museum.
That’s what Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes is saying about the De Young Museum under the relatively new directorship of John Buchanan:
Remember this ending to SF Chron art critic Kenneth Baker’s Hiroshi Sugimoto-at-the-de Young review?
Probably the de Young has never seen an exhibition of gravity and elegance to compare with “Hiroshi Sugimoto” and a look around the institution suggests that the next one like it will be a long time coming.
Now we know what Baker was expecting: FAMSF released its 2007-2009 exhibition schedule yesterday. It reveals that FAMSF is well on its way to becoming the worst-programmed major museum in America. Heck, considering its programming and ethics problems, by the end of 2009 FAMSF might not be a major museum.
For more, and the DYM’s schedule of forthcoming shows, see the original Modern Art Notes post.
The coyote pup was apparently hit by a car. A week or so ago, when adult coyotes attacked a large dog and were later shot, I speculated that “to go after such a formidable opponent suggests the coyotes were protecting a den.”
UPDATE: The Chronicle is suggesting that the coyotes became more aggressive as a result of people feeding them.
Coyotes disappeared from the city after the 1906 earthquake. They appear to have returned sometime in the past decade via the south peninsula. Recently a coyote was tracked with an electronic device, revealing that it traveled to Daly City and back in a single day (a trip that is agonizingly slow for commuters).
Over the weekend coyotes attacked a Rhodesian ridgeback, a large dog bred to hunt lions, in the park. To go after such a formidable opponent suggests the coyotes were protecting a den.
I have heard that city officials have killed the coyotes that attacked the dog, though I have yet to see an official report to that effect.
UPDATE: Yep, the shootings have been confirmed.
The San Francisco Public Library’s historical photograph collection is a great resource for old photos of San Francisco, such as this one of snow in Golden Gate Park in 1932. You can search the database online, and if you want print-quality photos you can order them very cheaply. I got several of the photos for Bridge to Understanding, my book on the Asian Art Museum, from this collection.
I don’t think I have an image of the Murphy Windmill in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park right now. The image at left is of another windmill in the park, the Dutch Windmill (thanks to Sarah in the comments below for pointing this out; click on the image for a larger view). Named after Samuel G. Murphy, who donated $20,000 to the city in 1905, the windmill once pumped 70,000 gallons of water an hour into an irrigation system that was instrumental in creating the park from its sand dune base. Over the years the windmill — which is extremely large; the photo below, for comparison (also clickable), is of a windmill in Bruges, Belgium — had fallen into considerable neglect. Fortunately, a civic-minded group known as the Campaign to Save the Golden Gate Park Windmills has rescued the decaying landmark.
You can read about the restoration in a March 2005 San Francisco Chronicle article by Kathleen Sullivan. Here is an excerpt:
Mark de Jong, a 43-year-old Dutch contractor whose speciality in Holland was historic restoration, lives only a couple blocks away from the windmill with his American wife and three children.
“The first time I saw the windmill, I thought: Wow, that needs work,” recalled de Jong, who emigrated in 1994.
De Jong, who comes from the land of 1,000 windmills, was impressed by the size of the building.
“In Holland, windmills are about half that size,” de Jong said….
For another picture of the Bruges windmill, see my blog at rightreading.com.
All this new stuff goes on top
turn it over, turn it over
wait and water down
from the dark bottom
turn it inside out
let it spread through
Sift down even
Watch it sprout.
A mind like compost.
— Gary Snyder
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